Fla. fire chief: Body armor a necessity for firefighters

Chief Roderick Williams said the added layer of protection is needed following mass shootings nationwide

By FireRescue1 Staff

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Fire Department announced this week that it is in the process of applying for grant money to purchase body armor. 

Orlando Fire Chief Roderick Williams told Click2Orlando that following the mass shootings nationwide, adding another layer of protection for firefighters is necessary.

“When you look at what the nation has gone through and what we went through here in Orlando, I guess we are more astute,” Chief Williams said. “We are more aware, more cognizant of what’s happening in the world because it affects us here in Orlando.”

Although the department said the purchase of body armor isn’t a direct response to the Pulse shooting, the need for ballistic vests is a sign of the times. 

For Orlando firefighters, it is still protocol to wait for officers to clear a potentially dangerous scene before entering. 

“When you look at what’s going on in the world, we got to make sure we equip our personnel to still be able to render aid,” Chief Williams said. 

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